Could the solution to this digital addiction be more technology? That’s what two ex-Apple employees Bethany Borgiono and Imran Chaudhri think.

We are addicted to our phones, there’s no better way to say it. On average, we check our phones anywhere from 100 to about 350 times a day with an average screen time of close to 7 hours a day. That’s about 40% of our waking hours and it’s only getting worse.

Image Credit: Freepik

There used to be a time when people were aware of their surroundings while they walked around and would even greet each other at any chance they would get. That time is long gone now and it’s seldom that anyone looks up from their phones whether it’s on the subway, in the street, or at the dinner table. In fact, most of us don’t even look up from our phones while having conversations with people actually sitting in front of us.

AI Pin’ is the most unimaginative name one could give to what is the first independent Personal AI device. Until I sat through this 10 minute video, I thought you had to pin it to your clothes.

The Humane AI Pin

Could the solution to this digital addiction be more technology? That’s what two ex-Apple employees Bethany Borgiono and Imran Chaudhri think. Their solution is an AI-powered pin that goes by the name “Humane.” While its name is suggestive of an effort to bring back some humanity and general situation awareness to the current population, the makers are aiming to eradicate screens from our lives altogether.

The device itself is smaller than the dial of a smartwatch and can be worn like a pin on a jacket or shirt pocket. It doesn’t need to pair with a computer or a phone to work and is completely self-sufficient. If you’re wondering where the screen is, there isn’t one.

Image Credit: Humane Ai Pin

Imran Chaudhri demonstrated this during during his TED talk by receiving and answering a call on the palm of his hand. The AI pin uses a green laser to project calls and images onto your palm or any surface, effectively turning it into a smart surface. This technology is called Laser Ink and can turn your palm into a display menu that can be navigated simply by lifting and tilting your palm. You can then move your fingers together to make a selection.

It also has an instant interpreter for accurate and fast translation that can be activated by simply holding the touchpad and speaking. While that already sounds like some Star Trek level of technology, there’s a lot more to the humane pin than a projector that creates smart surfaces.

At $699 this is an expensive proposition for those who need it most. (Image Credit: Hotelemarketer)

An invisible friend

What you get with the Humane pin is a lot like Iron Man’s Jarvis which is an AI assistant that is constantly assessing your surroundings and learning about you. To quote Imran Chaudhri “Why fumble for your phone when you can just hold an object and ask a question about it?” If you think about it though, most of us fumble with our phones when we want to quickly Google something we are either having an argument about or trying to remember. Most of the time it’s “Which show have I seen this actor in before?” That being said, however, having to take your phone out of your pocket to quickly capture something funny or interesting is always a pain, and by the time we get our phone out it’s often too late.

The reason Humane’s devices seem like they have come from Apple’s product stable is because both its founders are ex-Apple employees. (Image Credit: Humane)

Smartphones have changed our lives completely, a lot for the better and quite a bit for the worse too. One thing you notice at every show or concert is that everyone has their phone in their hand doing the job of a photographer rather than enjoying themselves like people used to do at concerts.

Having an AI pin that works as a bodycam that’s always on would make you free to carry out your day, safe in the knowledge that all interesting events and conversations are being captured for you. Additionally, if someone is genuinely interesting or funny, shoving a camera in their face is a quick and effective way of ruining the mood. Not anymore, with the Humane AI pin, you don’t even need to let anyone know they’re on camera!

Image Credit: Humane Ai Pin

One month to go

With an undisclosed Snapdragon chipset and Chat GPT 4 for an AI engine, the Humane pin is set to launch in March 2024 with a retail price tag of $699, pulse a monthly subscription of about $24 for phone calls, messages, and such. That’s not really that expensive for a gadget that looks like it belongs on The Starship Enterprise, especially since most smartphones today cost more.

While it sounds like a dream to be free from screens, could an AI assistant with a cool laser projector do the trick? It probably depends on how badly people want to escape their screens and start living their lives to the fullest again. If the Humane Pin can actually do what it’s aiming to and rid us of the evils of screens and the deluge of information that assaults our brains from them, this writer feels a Nobel prize may not be too far-fetched an idea.

In case you missed:

With a background in Linux system administration, Nigel Pereira began his career with Symantec Antivirus Tech Support. He has now been a technology journalist for over 6 years and his interests lie in Cloud Computing, DevOps, AI, and enterprise technologies.

Leave A Reply

© Copyright Sify Technologies Ltd, 1998-2022. All rights reserved